I need to touch a camera before buying it and after reading the owner’s manual. Downloading the manual is easy. Finding a store that will pop in a charged battery and hand you a camera to play with in the store is not so easy. Only one store had one of the cameras I was considering. Their inventory equaled one, and it was still in the factory sealed box. Despite my diplomatic efforts to convince them otherwise, they refused to open the box. I suppose they’re hoping that some one will come to town already owning the model, break it, and buy one without first even seeing it. Other stores have cameras on display and you can do anything you want with them. Except remove the plastic shrink wrap and actually use the camera. Some don’t have shrink wrap, but neither do they have batteries.
Lack of stock is the other issue. It’s easy to find Samsung, Kodak and Sony. Some Panasonic and Casio models are available. Small subsets of the Canon and Nikon offerings can be found, as well as brands I’ve never heard of.
I narrowed my choice to two models. One was not available in Hua Hin, but it’s predecessor was. The cameras are 95% the same, so it made the final list after loading up the older one and taking some shots. Canon released it to most of their world in August and September, but not to Thailand when I decided it was number one on my list. It’s now in stores, so I decided to go to Bangkok. But first I stopped by the one store in HH today that carries the older model to see if they had the new one. They didn’t but could have one here tomorrow, without any deposit or commitment from me. Whoo hoo!